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Editorial

Local car crashes provide reminder for campus safety

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October 10, 2014

The streets have been a dangerous place near the city of River Falls over the last week with at least five accidents being reported since early Sunday morning.

Many students, faculty and staff have likely already heard, whether via word-of-mouth or by simply seeing the end result, about the influx in accidents in the surrounding areas.

A deadly one-car accident was reported early Sunday morning on U.S. Highway 12, just off Interstate 94, that left two 22-year-old Hudson men dead, according to the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene, just before 3 a.m. Neither man was wearing a seatbelt. The crash still remains under investigation, according to St. Croix County Sheriff John Shilts. The names of the men were released Monday. They were Dylan J. Dreher and Kenneth L. Bjerkeng, both of Hudson. Both men graduated from Hudson High School in 2011. Dreher had previously taken classes at UW-River Falls, but was not a current student.

On Wednesday, two more accidents were reported in River Falls. A two-vehicle accident on Highway 29, about two miles east of River Falls, was reported in the afternoon. Two people were transported directly to Regions Hospital, according to the River Falls Journal. Both drivers had to be extricated by River Falls firefighters. One was transported to Regions Hospital by River Falls EMS while the more critically-injured person was moved to a North Air Care helicopter. Highway 29 was closed much of the evening, according to the River Falls Journal.

Earlier on Wednesday, a head-on car crash took place on East Cascade Avenue between Moody’s car dealership and the Highway 65/35 bypass stoplights. Both drivers were injured and taken away by ambulance. One driver was going north on the bypass, the other headed south. The northbound driver attempted a left turn at Cascade Avenue when the crash occurred.

Earlier in the week, two hit-and-runs occurred on campus, both coming early in the morning on Monday, according the UWRF campus police report. One vehicle crashed into a street sign in K-lot behind Stratton Hall, while another car crashed into the roundabout at Cascade Avenue and 2nd Street.

These accidents should serve as a reminder to be careful when crossing Cascade Avenue, whether you are driving, biking or walking. It’s not often so much destruction and devastation happens in such a small perimeter in such a short period of time, but it’s eye opening when it does. Students, please be especially safe in the early morning and on weekends when traveling. Don’t drink and drive; please wear your seatbelts; check both ways before crossing; and don’t text and drive.